Did your dentist recommend a root canal during your last visit? Our Ontario dentists discuss the root canal procedure, what you can expect during one and why your dentist might have recommended this dental surgery.
Why might a root canal procedure be required?
If your tooth experiences a deep cavity or trauma then there is a chance that the pulp on the inside can become infected. Only your dentist can examine the tooth and confirm whether you need this dental surgery, since pulp damage may happen even if there are no visible cracks or chips in the tooth.
Root canal therapy (also referred to as endodontics) can avoid the need to remove a tooth that has developed an internal infection. Without a root canal, the tooth would die and you would need to have it extracted. Missing teeth can lead to complex dental issues that can be difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair. So it is always preferable to save the tooth with a root canal if at all possible.
Some of the symptoms and conditions that a root canal can help with are:
Severe Toothache Pain
If the tooth pulp is infected, it will often feel painful. You may notice sharp pain whenever you apply pressure to the tooth, such as during chewing. There also might be sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Bump on the Gums
Also known as a dental cyst, this small, pimple-like bump forms on the gums near a tooth that may need a root canal. Dental cysts develop around the roots of an infected or decayed tooth. They may also form if the tooth’s pulp is infected.
Darkening of the Tooth
Infected pulp may cause a tooth to darken in colour due to internal damage. If you notice one of your teeth is a darker shade than the others, there may be an issue with the inner pulp.
What can I expect to happen during a root canal procedure?
With modern dental technology and techniques, root canal therapy has become a relatively simple and minimally invasive procedure when compared with a tooth extraction or other procedures.
The area will be numbed with anesthesia before your dentist uses a specialized tool to create an opening in the tooth. The bacteria, diseased blood vessels or dead tissue will then be removed from the interior of the tooth. The inner chamber of the tooth will be shaped and irrigated with water, rinsing away any diseased tissue that remains.
Your dentist may also apply an antimicrobial solution to eliminate any remaining bacteria and decrease your risk of further infection.
After the chamber has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, it will be filled with medicated dental material. Your dentist will then place a temporary filling to seal the tooth until a permanent crown is placed.
After your tooth has had a few weeks to heal your dentist will place a crown on your tooth to help protect it from further damage.
If you are curious about others' experiences during their root canals, you might type "root canal reviews" into your favourite search engine and read up on the topic. Most teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime, and help you maintain confidence in your smile.
Do you still have some questions about the root canal procedure? Our Ontario dentists can share more insight into this dental surgery. Contact us today.